The future of music

10 Simple Steps To Teach Yourself To Sing

August 4, 2023
teach yourself to sing

Whether it’s down at the local karaoke bar or at band practice, I often hear friends and musicians say that they wish they knew how to sing properly.

The great thing is, it’s now easier to learn than ever! Gone are the days of expensive and time-consuming private singing lessons…

Thanks to modern technology, online singing lessons, YouTube, and websites like mine are available!

And the great thing is, it’s not hard to teach yourself to sing from home.

Follow these 10 simple steps and you’ll be singing in no time!

10 Steps to Teach Yourself To Sing Like a Pro

Step 1 – Get the singer posture right

Isn’t it fantastic to know that how you carry yourself standing up makes a world of difference in how you sing? It’s such a necessary step that it is taken for granted in so many circumstances.

In reality, so many aspiring singers or those who want to enhance their vocals have seen a stark improvement. It happened by merely correcting their posture.

Are you interested to know how to execute it? All you need to do is follow these three necessary steps, and you’re on your way to projecting yourself as a professional singer just by perfecting that singer’s stance.

Feet apart equal shoulder width

The first thing you need to do is bring your legs apart, starting from your feet. An excellent guide as to how far apart is to check your shoulder width. Your feet must be level with your shoulders such that your position is stable and unshakeable.

The point of this stance is to provide you a solid footing as you prepare to sing.

Align your hips with your feet and shoulders

This part is not the time to swing your hips or to favor one side over the other as far as where your hips go. You have to check if it is aligned with your feet and shoulder as well.

Why? Because this makes sure that you are achieving the perfect posture and that you are not slouching in any way. It helps you gain that ideal balance throughout your body as you stand.

Chest out, chin and neck in

Lastly, push your chest out comfortably and bring you chin towards your body as you straighten your neck. This step completes the ideal singing posture and will surely give you that confidence to tackle any song.

To know if you execute this position correctly, stand in front of a full-length mirror and check yourself. You can turn to your side to ensure that your back is straightened even from this view. If you do this first step right, you will significantly improve your singing.

Step 2 – Pull the strength of your voice from your diaphragm

Most vocal coaches emphasize the need to breathe correctly when you sing and spend hours teaching their students how to do it. There’s nothing wrong with this, only that it makes the task seem difficult when in truth, it’s far from it.

Gaining breath support when you sing is as easy as 1,2,3, for those who know how to do it. Let me show you how and some of the best breathing exercises for singing.

If you want to be a powerful singer with a voice that commands an audience, you must learn to breathe through your diaphragm, which is the best breathing technique for vocalists. What does this mean exactly?

It essentially involves you sucking in air and releasing it using your stomach rather than your shoulders and chest.

When you inhale and exhale from the part of your stomach and chest called the diaphragm, you get a fuller air that can give you that force to power through your songs.

Here’s how to do it.

Stand on your side in front of a full mirror

Now that you have achieved the correct posture, do it in front of your mirror. But, turn to your side so you can check out your stomach as you breathe in and out.

Put your hands on your stomach

The next step is to place your palms on the lower part of your belly to feel your stomach going up and down as you inhale and exhale. You are doing this to ensure that you do the diaphragmatic breathing instead of what you were used to.

Start breathing through your diaphragm

As you take in a breath and let it out, you will notice your stomach inflating and deflating. When you isolate all your breathing from your diaphragm, you will feel air coming in and out of your stomach, while keeping your shoulders and chest steady.

Step 3 – Throw your voice out there

Woman singing to a crowd.

Your golden voice will not be as golden if no one can hear it with complete clarity. In other words, if you keep your musicality toned down, or people who long to listen to you can’t exactly hear you, then it’s a waste of an utterly fantastic voice. You have to throw it out there for everyone to hear!

How do you project your voice? It’s relatively easy. Your vocal power has to be harnessed by some straightforward techniques. Do you notice that when you speak, you can modulate your voice depending on the situation?

You can talk in soft tones or raise your voice when you speak to a large crowd and want to be heard.

You can do the same thing when you sing. Try these steps to discover how.

Choose your favorite line from a song

With your precise singing posture in place and your breathing coming from the right place, you can start doing this by picking out your favorite line from your chosen song. It can be that phrase from the bridge of a ballad that you mean to execute powerfully but couldn’t.

Certain lines won’t sound good belted out like songs meant to be sang softly, so choose carefully and wisely.

Speak the song phrase aloud

Now, imagine that you are on stage, and you have to be heard from the far back of the audience even as you speak. Try your best to project your voice and give it the power to reach the room’s end and corners.

Do this without having to yell or strain your voice but dig deep into your diaphragm to throw out your voice’s power.

Sing it!

Now that you have found just the exact decibel to launch your speaking voice, do the same thing as you sing out the song phrase you have chosen, with the same magnitude of power that you earlier exhibited.

You will notice a change in energy and control because you have rehearsed it as you strongly spoke beforehand.

Step 4 – Get your tune and pitch right

Whether you are off pitch or are hitting all the right notes, most people will know by merely listening to your song’s first few lines. Some will go as far as to say that you have to be born with the vocal cords or the ear to hear to sing the right tunes on-key.

However, even the best professional singers go off-key sometimes, and the secret is to have somebody provide you feedback when you are going the wrong way like a vocal coach or perhaps a pitch app. Being a bit sharp or flat at times doesn’t translate to you being tone-deaf.

Some coaches give up on new singers because they are simply out of tune only to find out that all they needed was a few fine-tuning hours to get their pitch right. Think of it as a musical instrument that has gone out of tune from misuse or lack of use. It just needs a little tweaking to make it work!

So, what is the big secret to getting your pitch and tune, right? I would say that it takes a fair amount of vocal techniques and a feedback mechanism that will get you there. But here are some steps to push you in the right direction.

Count it out first

With your strongest speaking voice, count up from 1 through 5 and count back down as many times as you can to get your juices going, and your vocal cords warmed up and ready.

Get comfortable with your note

Then, choose a note from the lower end of your vocal range (suggestively G3 for the ladies and C3 for the gentlemen) and use this to sing out your number “one.”

Count it out again but singing this time

From that beginning note, climb up the scale five levels as you count again from 1 through 5 and back down, but this time with your singing voice. Do not hesitate to move your range up or down as you locate that first note. As soon as you find it, the next ones on the scale will come naturally. 

Keep in mind that the scale notes have minimal intervals between them, so if you begin to sing off-key, try to bring your tune closer to the previous one.

Step 5 – Find your chest voice and use it

You may have come across the jargon, “chest and head voice” sometime in your life, or when you’ve been to vocal lessons. But for the regular person, these terms may not sound familiar, it’s difficult to tell them apart, let alone execute them as you sing.

Head and chest voice explained.

Without anyone telling you, it will be tough to distinguish if you’re singing using your head voice or your chest voice. However, it’s essential to learn both and how to use them correctly.

So, what is a chest voice, and how do you sing with it? Historically, Italian singing instructors have used the term “chest voice” for ages, meaning the vocal range’s lower part.

To locate it in your body, you can try to put your palm on your chest and throw out your voice by saying a simple word, like your name, aloud. The vibration that you feel on your torso comes from your chest voice.

Why is this important to know? Well, it’s because you have to learn to use it with strength as you sing. Singing with your chest voice and failing to give it power will cause you to struggle with pitch, vocal tone, and breath control.

Check out these steps to learn how to sing with your chest voice.

Feel your chest

Again, put your hand, palm side down, on your torso and strongly speak out a word, like “bug” and feel the vibration that is created on your chest as you do.

Find your beginning note

From the lower range of your voice, locate the note that you are most comfortable with and utter the same word, “bug,” with great force.

Sing it out

Similar to what you did earlier when you were getting your pitch right, sing out the note on an increasing scale of five notes using the same word, focusing more on the consonant “G” than the vowel sound.

Step 6 – Get to know your head voice

So, you’ve located your chest voice and have learned how to use it to your advantage. Let’s move on to your other vocal faculty, which is your head voice. What is it? It’s another term coined by the same Italian vocal instructors to mean, the upper levels of your vocal capacity.

If you want to know where it is coming from, you can put both your hands on your nape and try to make the highest note that you can reach, emphasizing the vowel sound. Your head voice is that tingling vibration that you feel from the back of your neck.

It’s essential to harness your head voice because you use it to belt out the high notes in every song. Some singers try to hit the notes up in the scale with their chest voice, most likely causing strain in their vocal cords and for some notes to be flat.

Therefore, if you want to hit the top notes with ease and less damage to your voice, it’s essential to use your head voice. Try this exercise below to learn to sing this way.

Hands on your nape

Place your palms on your nape and say any single-syllable word with a vowel sound in it like “hoops.” Try to give power to it but speak in a volume comfortable for you.

Sing the vowel sound

Next, sing out the same word from the lower range of your voice.

Do the vocal siren

Still feeling your head voice on your nape, try to do some vocalization by singing from the bottom of your range to the highest note that you can reach and then go back down and do it again. You will notice a stronger vibration on your neck as you move up the range and hitting the higher notes.

Keep going even if your voice breaks while you go higher. It is a sign of your voice shifting to head as you hit the top notes. 

Step 7 – Mix your chest and head voice to create a new sound

Woman singing with her head and chest voice.

As we talked about the separate places where you can bring out your chest and your head voice, it may seem as if there’s no way to marry them together, like you have to flip from one to the other depending on the song that you’re singing.

However, the truth is, you can mix them up to create an even more powerful and compelling singing voice, especially when you are singing songs that will require you to belt out high notes. There is a way to fuse them such that you produce one strong sound, and there is no disconnect between the two.

The ability to transition seamlessly from chest to head voice as you go up the scale is a skill that you can learn and master on your own. This skill is vital for a singer such that you don’t put too much strain on your voice.

You must realize that if you use your chest voice too much, you are likely to fall flat on your notes, while if you utilize your head voice excessively, your song will seem too airy and thin. The best strategy is to blend them to form one seamless and stable voice.

How do you accomplish this? Follow these steps, and you will know how quick it is to execute.

Gee exercise

Speak out the word “Gee (hard G)” in everyday conversation decibels.

Find your comfortable note

Next, pick a note from your lower ranges and use it to utter the same word with the same gusto as how you spoke it earlier.

Sing it out

Lastly, sing out the word both on a half-scale and an entire octave. Repeat the word “Gee” for every note.

As you go up the range, you may feel the need to switch to your head voice when the notes become too high for you but hold your horses and don’t think about flipping just yet. Try and enunciate the consonant “G” on the word and let out that mixed head and chest voice inside you.

Step 8 – Practice belting out

Now that you have discovered that lovely mix between your head and chest voice let’s add some more power to it such that you will learn how to belt out. We have so far casually used this term in our discussion above, but what does it mean?

Simply put, it is singing those high notes with a force that comes from your chest voice. You will learn how to do it here but be warned that it’s not going to be as easy as the previous exercises that we have done so far.

There is a proper way to do it that will not hurt your voice.

The power will not come from the chest voice alone, or your cords will strain, and you may fall flat on your notes, so it’s crucial to make sure that you use the delicate balance between your head and chest voice. This way, you get the strength from the chest and the stretch and ease from your head voice.

If you’re familiar with the Bratty Nae routine, it will surely help you learn to belt out. Follow these necessary steps.

Do the Bratty Nae

Let the word “Nae (Nasty)” come out of your lips in a bratty manner. To help you out on this, imagine that you are a child in the playground, and you are trying to tease some other kids with you saying the word “Nae” over and over again in your modulated taunting voice.

Find your comfortable note

Search for that easy note from the bottom of your range and sing the “Nae” using that note. Make sure to keep your sound consistent throughout the exercise.

Sing it out

Start singing your octave from the bottom up, still utilizing the same Bratty Nae word and sound. Repeat the highest note four times.

This exercise allows you to exploit your chest voice of its power, and it doesn’t feel as if you are trying too hard to hit the top notes because of the bratty effect.

Step 9 – Fine-tune your vibrato

You have to admit, listening to that beautiful vibrato sound makes for a fantastic listen, whatever the song is. If you’re a singer, this unique vocal effect puts you on the same level as the most famous and world-renowned artists. If you can perfect your vibrato, you will indeed sound like a pro!

So, let’s get to it and teach you how to sing in that vibrato style. But before we do that, what is this vibrato style for those who don’t know yet? If you’ve ever heard a famous ballad singer and notice that tremble in their voice towards every line’s end as they hold the note, you know vibrato. 

Bear in mind that you don’t have to be a seasoned singer to fine-tune that vibrato of yours, and you can start now to enhance it with these effortless steps.

Push your solar plexus

Put your middle and index finger together and push your stomach a mere inch above your navel on your solar plexus.

Find your comfortable note and pulsate

Sing a note within your comfortable range with an emphatic “eee” vowel sound. As you are singing, poke your stomach in rapid succession to provide a pulse to your singing. Do this until you hear your voice shake and “vibrate,” producing your vibrato sound.

It’s an excellent idea to record your vibrato to hear yourself and check if you’re doing it correctly. The goal is to get this out every time you sing and hold a note. 

Step 10 – Study songs to learn to sing like a pro

Even if you have mastered all of the how to sing for beginners steps mentioned above, you will still need to study the songs to sing them with the best that you can give.

Of course, they will be substantially different from the exercises we did since they are much more complex and with varied sounds.

My suggestion is that if you encounter any challenges in a song, go back to the exercise related to it from the teach yourself to sing list above and replace that problematic line in the song with the words that we used in the steps until you get it right. 

The key to becoming a great singer is to improve on those vocal techniques and practice as much as you can until any song that you want to sing, you can sing like a true professional.

As with many things in life, lots of practice is required to improve and reach your full potential.

If you are struggling to teach yourself to sing, why not try out one of these online singing lessons?

Will Fenton

Will, the founder of MIDDER, is a multifaceted individual with a deep passion for music and personal finance. As a self-proclaimed music and personal finance geek, he has a keen eye for futuristic technologies, especially those that empower creators and the public.

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